Start of term January 2021 - Important Information
2020 has been an interesting year to say the least!
Before I detail no end of procedures and changes to you, I must firstly thank you all for the support you have given for the students and staff of Sewell Park over this last term. I will also take this opportunity to publicly express a huge thank-you to the students and staff for doing all that I could ask of them to behave in ways that were as safe as we could be during this time.
Now I will move to more substantive issues, and I must apologise for the length of this email. I am sure you will appreciate that the length of this correspondence is unavoidable given the announcements from the Government over the last few days. This includes the unexpected decision on remote learning for some year groups for the first week in January, and I apologise for the last-minute disruption this may cause some of you.
Arrangements for the week beginning 4th January 2021
The Government has said that all secondary year groups will learn remotely until 11th January, with the exception of students in ‘examination year’. For Sewell Park, this means the following:
Year 11 should attend school as normal from 4th January – the only change is that they should arrive for a 10 am start on Monday 4th January. This is to allow other arrangements required in school to be made safely. From Tuesday, they will be required to attend at the normal start time of 8.40 am.
Year 11 students will attend all of their lessons as usual. They should enter the site from the Constitution Hill Year 11 gate.
Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will remain at home and follow their timetabled lessons through remote learning. If a student requires a Chromebook or paper-work pack please let us know by completing the below form. We will send further details and you/your child will be asked to come to the main reception to collect on Monday 4th January.
Children of critical workers and vulnerable students
Students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 who are classified as children of critical workers, or as vulnerable students, are able to attend school from January 4th. Students who use this provision will follow the remote learning lessons in the same way as those remaining at home, only they will be doing so from within one of the school’s classrooms. The eligibility criteria for being within school for the week beginning January 4th is detailed in the link below:
If you would like to make use of this in-school provision for your child THEN YOU MUST TELL US IN ADVANCE. In order to inform us, please complete the following form:
Free School Meals
Students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, who are eligible for Free School Meals will still be able to receive these. If required, these students must come to the St Clements Hill gate by the Chestnut nursery (currently used by Year 8), between 12.00 and 12.30 pm. They will be able to collect their lunch from the ‘Grab and Go’ hatch on the outside of the canteen. Once collected, they will be required to leave the site.
For the week commencing 4th January, and during any period of self-isolation, students should access their school work through the school’s Remote Learning provision. This is a parallel curriculum to that taught in lessons. Students access their work via Google Classroom.
If there are any issues with accessing this, the IT team can be contacted by completing the online form from the link on the front page of the website.
On Monday 4th January, Remote Learning will follow the prescribed lessons from the links for all students on Google Classroom. It is likely to be a mixture of video material, websites, quizzes and the like.
From Tuesday 5th January, for the remainder of the week, some lessons will be delivered live by the member of teaching staff during the allocated timetable period (and recorded and posted on the Google Classroom for use later).
The first lesson in a subject starting from Tuesday will be a ‘live’ lesson, allowing the class teacher to explain in person the arrangements for the week and to answer questions. A live lesson is accessed by a learner clicking on a link made available in their particular subject’s Google Classroom.
For further information on Remote Learning, please see Mr Lewis’ letter and information dated 1st December on the website.
For students in Year 11 who have OCR National and BTEC examinations in January, they will attend school and the examinations will continue as normal.
For any Year 10 students who have an OCR National or BTEC examination in the first week (for example Music) individual arrangements will be made for providing revision support. Subject teachers will contact such students directly with the details.
I am certain that you will have seen the announcements that students and staff in secondary settings will receive mass testing for COVID-19 from January.
Specifically, the Government’s intention is:
Weekly testing for staff (with a suggested plan for regular testing of students)
Daily testing for close contacts of identified positive cases in order to remove the need for periods of self-isolation. This means that large numbers of learners would no longer need to spend 10 days at home just in case they had been infected.
The possibility that all learners will be tested (twice, with approximately 3 days between each test) in the Spring term in order to discover any asymptomatic cases
I understand that many of you, as well as staff, will be anxious about what this means and how it will work logistically. I would like to reassure you that we will be working closely with Boudica Schools Trust, to ensure everything is done as safely as possible and continues to match our ambition of being the safest school in Norfolk. Please see attached letter from BST CEO Don Evans.
At the time of writing, official guidance is in a limited form. The Department for Education has stated that ‘further guidance for schools will come out over the Christmas holiday’. Once we have had an opportunity to digest, plan and prepare for the in-school testing process we will inform you fully of our intended operational plans before they are implemented.
Confirmed cases over the Christmas Holiday
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 for a student over the Christmas Holiday, please send or leave a message on the out of hours COVID phone - 07856 242916
Extra support during the Christmas Holiday
Please see below for some links for extra support should it be needed during the break.
Norfolk Assistance Scheme - for financial support
Finally (and assuming you have all read this far!) I would like to wish all members of our school community a safe and restful Christmas. At many times 2020 has been a challenge for everyone, but it has also been amazing to see the way in which the community has worked together.
Please now take a few days to rest and spend time (carefully) with family.
I look forward to a positive 2021 at Sewell Park.
Best wishes and stay safe,